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My Father's Funeral: Reflection

Updated on April 12, 2015
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Dallas W Thompson was born in Bakersfield, California to "Grapes of Wrath" descendants. First born son of three siblings of a preacher

Life is what you do while you make plans!
Life is what you do while you make plans! | Source

My Perspective of My Father's Death...


Dead. Gone. Passing. Words meant to describe an event. My father died at the age of 86. I am writing to describe my reaction to my father’s death. First, I must share my perspective of this event. My father was a fundamental Pentecost preacher. This meant anything that was fun, or felt good was a sin. He lived his life as he believed. He was strict and focused on his religious beliefs. It was hell to live with him. I never “joined” his church. I was a rebel. I still am in terms of being true to my own self. I left home at the age of 17 and never looked back. I was told, "...the door swings one way …"

Accepting Mortality

I am exploring my feelings of my dad’s death. He represented many things to many people. He was a leader and admired by many. My perception of death is not personal. We are all dying. I accept death as a natural event. Emotionally, I feel a sense of finality. Does my father’s death experience change me? No. I accept what is. I strive to live today and learn from my past.

The Funeral

Religious leaders one-by-one gave their glowing accounts of the great things my father did and his selfless efforts to promote his religious beliefs. Given everyone was aware of the strong religious beliefs of everyone present – excepting us “heathens, non-believers” the service was almost normal in terms of paying respect to the person laying in the casket and not going to extremes. I am not an atheist. I simply have my own, private belief philosophy. It works for me.

Death is Personal, Yet, it is not Personal …

Each of us will experience death. Most of us will experience death as a spectator. Our feelings are unique. Each death experience is different. The common denominator is the finality of death. Death does not single us out. Death happens… The life cycle of birth and death is ageless. As a former science instructor, I understand the process. The emotional process of a loved one passing is an event which permeates and filters through our being – layers at-a-time.

Understanding and Accepting the Importance of Living Today!

Most of us live either thinking of yesterday or thinking about tomorrow, rather than living TODAY! My father’s funeral has reminded me of the importance of living today! I expect different results from my different behaviors and activities. I do not want to make the same mistakes and experience the same results. I want to learn from the past and make a different mistake each day… with different results!

Life is about the Doers!

Life is about now. Life is about moving on. Life is what you want it to be. Life is fleeting and then you die. Life is the dash on your headstone between the day you were born and the day you die.

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    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA


      Seems you have acquired the "main idea!" Congratulations...

      Thanks for your comments!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Dallas, I believe in enjoying the present and making the most of it. We can't focus on the past if we want to move forward. My father was a pastor as well. At times, I didn't enjoy the "rules" and had my questions about religion, but I found that having a personal relationship with God is quite different. Sorry for your loss, but it sounds like you are making inroad on what really matters in life. Praying you find the path that leads to peace.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA


      Perhaps one must seek/maintain "balance" in life... Not all Pentecostal ministers are as "hard-core" as my father was. Most of these preachers have evolved. My father felt, "the bible never changes."

      I have learned to accept what is and not judge....

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      Your thoughts about death are refreshing. Sad religion corrupted your father. I know a Pentecostal minister that is fun loving and humorous. Don't always approve of his ways, but he is who he is.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      It was a joy to read your comments. Life as you know is what we make it to be. I too regard you as a friend! Thanks for your comments!

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 5 years ago


      It's a terrible thing for a mortician to not be able to come up with the right words for you regarding this announcement. And, it's worse when it's on a personal level, and the announcement is from a friend, which is exactly what I regard you as.

      And so, I will say that I'm thinking of you and your family, and as I am in habit of spending a good deal of time in prayer, I'll be mentioning your family in those as well.

      You are one of those extraordinary people who is constantly proving that we do not have to be a product of our environment, and that tools can be fashioned from hardship.


    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA


    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Losing a parent is always difficult, but it's compounded when there are unresolved and painful differences. Turn it over to God, and let Him handle it. That's all you can do, my friend.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Thanks! It is a process...

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      I am sorry, I understand how you feel. My father died 12 years ago and I still miss him. My mother died 14 years ago, and I miss her very much. Both of them died of cancer around the age of 62-65. I will pray for you and your family tonight.

      God bless you, and may God give you comfort.